Archive | 11:57 PM

The Rise of La Chona

29 Feb

It happens, even if you don’t have rhythm. It happens.  There’s a song that does it for you. Not just humming or singing the lyrics. It’s starts there, but then your head begins nodding. You hear the opening run and your knees bend a little as your hips start swaying. All of a sudden you’re having a Winona-Ryder-Ethan-Hawke Reality Bites moment at the liquor store.

As I mentioned before I love all kinds of music, I got old school, funk, country, and the 80s submerged in my bones. But this does not have me bustin’ a move in random places.

This happens to me every time I hear La Chona. Now Tucanes de Tijuana don’t play typical Guat music at all. My people listen to cumbias … groups like Sonora Dinamita and Fito Olivares but we dance it all. In my family we got marimba, cumbia, merengue, and salsa. But Tucanes de Tijuana … not so much. I don’t know how it happened but it did.

Image via Wikipedia

Image via Wikipedia

The song first hit the air waves in 1994, but I didn’t hear it until a couple of years later at a Mexican wedding and I was hooked. That little tune jump starts my battery and I’m out of the chair. It’s funny … the song is about a woman who loves to dance and party. Her husband doesn’t know what to do with her. She’s a dancing machine … they call her La Chona.

I was reminded of my Chona Reality-Bites moment, as I was looking through  old college pictures for this week’s photo challenge. I came across a couple of photographs of our ten-year college reunion: A group of friends at the local college pub.

This is where it happened.

We stopped by the campus pub after the homecoming game to get a few drinks. It was crowded, full of typical rugby-shirt, flip-flop wearing white dudes, and giddy, as well as hot-looking, blond chicks. Then we arrived: Latin Invasion. We reminisced, laughed, drank  and ran into old friends. But as everyone else was getting more drinks, a few of us checked out the jukebox, which was filled with Rock, R&B, and some 80s.

And then I saw it.

I couldn’t believe Tucanes were in a place like this. So I dropped my money in the jukebox and made the selection. B-17. I went back to the crowd and waited. Thirty-minutes later I hear the accordion and drum beat. I smile, kick the stool out the way and begin bustin’ a move…Guat style.

There was no official dance floor, but I made one. My friends stared at me as I hopped, swiveled, and kicked my legs around, while swishing my hips. My friends smiled and laughed. Do you think they joined me in this display of La Chona enthusiasm?

Hell yes.

We took over the bar for the next three minutes and seventeen seconds. We were so amusing, that  a couple of flip-flop wearing dudes stopped their dart game and began swishing themselves. This was the rise of La Chona.

Any time I hear that song … I hit the dance floor, even if there is no dance floor.

How about you … do you have a song?